It isn't 50 50

We are often asked two very common questions: “Isn’t property divided fifty-fifty when we separate?” “Don’t I get half of my spouse’s pension?”

One of the biggest misconceptions we hear about from our new clients involves the belief that the law divides property equally.  Some have also been led to believe that there are two kinds of property, something known as “matrimonial property” and then everything else.

Neither of these misconceptions are correct, at least under Ontario law.  Ontario’s Family Law Act provides a formula for the settlement of property rights between married (not common law) separating spouses.  The formula can be complex and when carefully calculated will measure each spouse’s net worth at separation according to the assets and debts that he or she has at separation.  It allows us to evaluate how each persons net worth has changed since the day the couple married.  Upon review of the results, one party is required to compensate the other with a money payment.  It does not, however, ordinarily award a share of one spouse’s property to the other.

At Morrison Reist, we will explain and guide you through this sometimes confusing formula. The exchange of accurate and detailed financial information from each spouse is very important. We assist in the collection, exchange and analysis of this financial information.